Primary School Transition Video Making Project

This was a project I led recently with a group of Primary children ahead of their transition to high school. Pupils needing a little extra support ahead of the move were identified by staff at their primaries, and together with pupils from other schools they filmed and produced a video showing their classmates what their new high school was like. They interviewed staff and pupils already at the high school, as well as shooting footage in and around the school grounds.

By bringing pupils together from different schools it helped the children make friends some of the children they might be sharing a class with. The 3 hour session was also facilitated by a number of senior pupils who had been running their own video making lunchtime club.

For the icebreakers we split the group into two teams – we tried to mix the groups as much as possible so the children got opportunities to work with different pupils.

Icebreaker: Team Work (Magic Locks)

These puzzle locks work great as a team work exercise and was a fun way of getting the children engaged and buying into the session. They are available for purchase from Amazon here.

Icebreaker: Creativity (Imagination Storytelling)

Inspired by this Imagination Workout sheet (attached at the bottom) I drew each of the squares on large sheets of flipchart paper. Working in small groups pupils were tasked with completing the images on four sheets. Once completed they then hand to create a story using the four scenes.

This was a great way in to thinking about the structure of the video we were going to film and put together and what we might want to include.

Worksheet: ImaginationWorkoutGamePrintable

Introducing Evaluation

At this point in the session I introduced the Blob Tree Sheet and asked children to colour or circle the character that represented how they felt about the move to high school. We’d return to these worksheets later.

Photo Challenge

This was a great activity to help pupils get to know and explore the school space. Getting lost is often children’s top worry ahead of their move to their new high school. It also offered a more active activity as the previous activities had been based around the table.

Pupils were given a series of questions they had to take pictures of (e.g take a picture of something you think is exciting) and questions that they had to find the information (e.g what’s the librarians name?). While there were some questions specific to the particular school we were working in, most of the photo challenge questions were general and could be used in different settings.

I’ve attached the sheet we used: photo challenge questions

For this exercise we were able to use the school’s supply of iPads.

Discussion

We took 20 minutes before lunch to discuss what information might classmates want to know about going to high school? What should pupils include in our video and how we might find out the information we need. We also drew up a list of questions we could ask members of staff and questions we could ask high school pupils.

Lunch

Giving pupils as wide an experience as possible of what to expect at high school was important,so we had lunch in the school canteen to give them a flavour of how busy the space becomes.

For the second part of the lunch hour we began filming – with one group interviewing each of the year heads and the other group visiting a lunchtime club and interviewing pupils.

Filming

Filming continued after lunch with one group working on a Vox Pop with first year pupils, and the second group visiting and filming within different classes/bases around the school.

Review

Afterwards we took some time to review some of the footage the pupils had filmed and to have them share how they had felt about their experience. It was a good chance to explore what they had enjoyed about the session, how they were feeling about their transition and to take the opportunity to affirm the kids.

We returned to the Blob Tree and had children circle they character they now felt best represented how they felt about moving to high school. Did they remain the same? Did they move up the tree? Are they now standing on a more secure platform?

Technology

As I mentioned, for the project we used the school’s supply of iPads but we also used some handheld video cameras too. We found some inexpensive cameras on Amazon (£108), and although I’d been slightly apprehensive about using them they turned out to be excellent for the purposes of the project. The film and sound quality were perfect.

The cameras can be purchased on Amazon here.

As a school chaplain the project was an excellent way of building relationships with children ahead of their move to high school and a great way of supporting the wider work of the school. It’s a fairly easy project to manage and run, and pupils had a great time taking part.

The final video we made is to be shown to P7 parents at the high school information night as well as the pupils sharing with their classmates at their respective primary schools.

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